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separate things here. there's the filibuster in the senate. but the biggest obstacles is the hastert rule in the house. it has always been hard to see bill that a majority of house republicans would vote for that would be acceptable to president obama. so in many ways, i felt for really months, the only two choices were going over the cliff or abandoning that hastert rule and john boehner being willing to bring up a bill that could be passed by democratic votes, not passed by the majority of republicans. sounded a little more optimistic on the relative gauge we have than over the last couple of weeks. >> they're now running out of venues to discuss this. they discussed it at the white house. tried to get a deal between speaker boehner and president obama. now it's gone to the senate. harry reid and mitch mcconnell will try to work something out. after that, they have run out of both time and places to go for a deal. >> right. most of the time, when there's stalemate, it's tougher for the democrats than republicans because democrats are the party of activist government. they want things to
-called hastert roll but whatever he can to get enough votes, period drawing from nancy pelosi's caucus and his own to get this true. >> how severe do you think the backlash would be against republicans, especially say looking forward to 2014, midterm elections? >> well, polls seem to show that most people will blame republicans for this if we go over the cliff. they already have this reputation of being obstructists and the spending cuts about by the way, i don't think they're going to do anything about that now. so i think these spending cuts are going to go into effect at least in the january. so that means i think if there's such a thing as going partially over the cliff, i think we'll probably do that. so $1.2 trillion spread out over ten years, that begin in january. unless they can find a way to avert that. of course, about half of that comes down on the military side. so you've got a lot of people in that sector and others who are very nervous about the spending cuts. i don't think they're going to do anything about that at the moment. >> paul brandus, the bureau chief of the west wing
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